SA stars available for friendly
Johannesburg - Kagisho Dikgacoi and Bernard Parker will be among the few foreign-based players that will be included in Pitso Mosimane’s squad that departs from South Africa next Thursday for an international friendly date against Tanzania’s Taifa Stars at the National Stadium on May 14.
The English Championship season ends this weekend and Dikgacoi will arrive in the country during the week and likely to go straight into camp while Parker has already been in the country for two weeks already after the Greek League where he has been loaned ended a fortnight ago.
The Tanzanians have sent invitation letters to six of their foreign-based players and have already cancelled another friendly game against Chad that was earlier scheduled for May 17 in order to focus on the game against the 2010 Fifa World Cup hosts.
Mosimane however, is aware of the importance of this historic first meeting between the two countries as well as the challenges of taking a competent squad in the middle of the league championship and Nedbank Cup semifinals.
“I need the friendly game to tune-up the boys ahead of the African Nations Cup qualifier against Egypt on June 5,” said Mosimane. “And it would have been ideal to play them much closer to the game against Egypt.
“But there are always challenges and we have to be happy about the opportunity to play prior to our game against Egypt. If we have been able to take a full strength team to Tanzania, it would have afforded us an opportunity to try out a system that we will implement against Egypt in Cairo.”
Mosimane revealed that in the past, one or perhaps two teams would in the past have been involved in a neck-and-neck race for the league championship. But things have changed dramatically during the last couple of seasons and until Wednesday; it had been a four-horse race between Ajax Cape Town, Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs.
“We also have a situation where six players are trying to escape from the clutches of that dreaded number 15th position that means they have to engage in national play-offs against three other National First Division opponents,” said Mosimane.
“It is not an ideal situation because you would love to accord coaches an opportunity to prepare adequately for this crucial period, but we have been given an opportunity to play and we must utilize the chance,” he explained.